In Honour of Valentine’s Day I will forgo the usual article on Chocolate and instead go with a number of mood affecting foods.
Having a rough day at work, are your co-workers driving you crazy? Need to relax? Look no further than a nice cup of lemon balm tea. In addition to its anti depressant use, lemon balm is a great way to just de-stress. The fact that lemon balm doesn’t dull your responses or slow reaction times makes it a great drink for a stressful workplace. You can remain fast and accurate and even drive machinery. Lemon balm simply levels you out and allows you to deal with things without the additional stress, anxiety, anger or whatever emotion.
Lemon Balm can be enjoyed hot or cold. It is an excellent iced tea for the warmer summer months. It is readily available in most health food or natural food stores and it is actually quite easy to grow in your garden. When growing lemon balm be aware that it is a member of the mint family so you definitely want to grow it in a pot so it doesn’t take over your garden!
There are no contra-indications for lemon balm which means you can take it with any medications without concern. As with all herbs it is possible to have an allergic reaction to lemon balm, but this reaction is quite rare.
There are literally dozens of ways to spell Chamomille. No matter how you spell it chamomille is a great herb for use as a sedative or to ease anxiety. Both the Roman and German types are useful for their calming properties.
Chamomille is great for the whole family. If you have an inconsolably crying baby try a single drop of chamomille oil on the tip of the baby’s nose. Alternately you can make a cup of chamomille tea and cool it before allowing the baby to drink it. The caution here is that babies should not have any more than about 2oz of the tea.
If you want to have a good night sleep a cup of chamomille tea before bed is an excellent way to unwind. When talking about herbal teas remember that a cup is actually 6 ounces.
According to Tea Muse, chamomille was used by the Egyptians to honour the Gods, Embalm and heal the sick. More recently it has been used as an anti-inflammatory and sedative.
There is no more mood enhancing herb than Cacao. It increases energy, gives your mind a boost when you have a deadline to meet, and even has a history as an aphrodisiac.
To be clear, when I speak of chocolate, I am talking about dark chocolate, the darker the better. Any addition of dairy to chocolate completely destroys the health benefits of the food.
The next time you have a deadline and have that “brain fuzz” from too much intense focusing, take a quick break with either a piece of really dark chocolate or a few cacao beans or nibs. Chocolate rejuvenates neurotransmitters giving your brain that boost it needs via its tryptophan and serotonin quantities.
Diet most definitely has an effect on your moods. If you are feeling a little down try removing sugar dairy and wheat from your diet for a couple of days and focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins. You will be amazed at how good you feel.
Wolf David, Superfoods, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley California